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by Steven Cowan and Tinghe Jin

The days when studying Chinese Education amounted to sifting through official pronouncements and fighting through impenetrable ideological statements are over. Education across China is definitely on the move as the government seeks to use radical changes within the schooling and university system in order to move China up to the next level, both economically and culturally.

The world is now looking at China so New Directions for Education in China will hopefully serve as a gentle introduction for anyone wishing to see what is taking place in the world’s second largest economy and as a bridge for cross-cultural intellectual, and academic interactions linking China to the rest of the world.

Readers may be surprised to learn that the country where most students learn English at school is not the USA or Nigeria but China. Lin Pan and Zimeng Pan show the reader how this explosion of learning English affects the Chinese education system and wider society.

Much is made of the isolation of China from the internet but Shuang Zeng and Ke Lin take the reader into the private worlds of internet users adapting to changing ways of accessing and using the web for educational purposes. They explore virtual civic and intellectual spaces and speculate on what such developments may hold for the future.

Readers are also offered a selected bibliography drawn mostly from books and research papers written since 2010. This will act as a useful resource for anyone seeking to expand their knowledge of contemporary trends within Chinese education. The chapter also provides links to online sources of information. English language readers may be surprised by the extent to which sources, from the ministry right down to individual schools, now publish in English.

The book grew initially from the network of the Chinese Educational Research Association (CERA), which has been led by Tinghe Jin, Ke Lin and Zimeng Pan. The hope is that the present volume will be the first in a series which keeps pace with this expanding field of research that is vastly enriched by the participation of growing numbers of Chinese post-graduate students studying in English language universities. Several papers often arise from collaborations between Chinese and British academics, working to cross national and cultural boundaries, and giving way to a stronger reality of shared study and mutual learning. Our hope is that this volume encourages others to pursue such a path.

If you would like to find out more about the next activities of CERA please contact Steven Cowan and Tinghe Jin.

Read more and order New Directions for Education in China edited by Steven Cowan, Tinghe Jin, Lucia Johnstone- Cowan and Zimeng Pan, out now.

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